I met Janik at Velocity Sports Performance in Manhattan, where he trains clients. Janik was so handsome and well built he looked like an X-Men character. We talked about my athletic background and what I needed to do in order to dunk in ten weeks. He assigned me a three-days-a-week program that would improve my explosiveness and overall leg strength and told me to check back in three weeks to adjust it. "If you follow the program and your intensity level is high," he said, "I guarantee you’ll dunk again."
Among the hundreds of lessons I learned during my youngest child’s first year of life was this: If you earnestly pursue dunking after your athletic peak years of 18 to 30, give or take, it can be done. You can enjoy what it feels like to dunk. You can even feel it more purely than I did, maybe without needing a lob from a friend, and hopefully without all the hand damage. But you should expect a long, frustrating, demeaning war of attrition that pits mind, body, spirit against the most oppressive, unrelenting opponent of them all: gravity. The sun rises and sets, the tides creep in and out—even taxes and death seem negotiable nowadays—but gravity remains constant, forever pounding our shoulders, stooping us shorter as we grow gray, never letting up—no matter what NASA tweets.
When I started to work on the video tool that measures vertical jump, I had to dust off my old textbooks to learn about the relationship between hang time and jump height. And to my surprise, it turned out that the vertical jump is a great (and interesting!) example of the laws of physics at work. You can really learn about the relationship between velocity, acceleration, forces and hang time. Definitely more interesting than the average example of your physics textbook!
The player approaches the basket and leaps as they would for a generic dunk. Instead of simply dunking the ball with one or two hands, the player allows their forearm(s) to pass through the basket, hooking their elbow pit on the rim before hanging for a short period of time. Although the dunk was introduced by Vince Carter in the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk contest, Kobe Bryant was filmed performing the dunk two years earlier at an exhibition in the Philippines. Colloquially, the dunk has a variety of names including 'honey dip', 'cookie jar', and 'elbow hook'.
To get your training started, you need a way to measure your jump. If you’re testing your vertical at gym or in a professional type setting, they may have a Vertec. The Vertec is one of the most common apparatus for measuring vertical jump ability. It is the vertical jump-testing device of choice for many college and professional teams, but they also have the budget for such a thing. If you’re wanting to test your vertical in a budget-friendly way, you can easily use a measuring tape, a marked wall, or chalk for marking a wall.
My four year old son has a whole bunch of books in this series. They are all AWESOME. My son really likes facts and history and these books are full of both. You don't read them like a story - rather, they are basically written as one fact after another with lots of exciting illustrations in between. I like that I can jump around from fact to fact or picture to picture, depending on my son's mood or attention span at that particular point in time. He has actually been absorbing many of the names and dates and facts and statistics. I love that these books make it fun for kids to learn! FIVE STARS!!!
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Important Update! – I have been receiving a few emails/comments on players tracking their jump during the course of their program. Please understand that what you are doing when completing a jump program is breaking down the muscle. You aren’t going to see improvements mid-week because the muscle hasn’t healed properly. That’s why I suggest only checking how much you’ve improved at the end of each rest week. Rest is just as important as the routine.